To expect care salesmen to be interested when you want to buy a car?

(68 Posts)
higgle Wed 08-May-13 11:57:40

Well, in fairness, mainly the Audi ones. Last weekend DH decided to have a look around all the contenders with a view to changing our main car. This meant a trip to the Ford, Honda and Audi dealers locally. Ford dealer had lovely sales man who I wanted to adopt. Honda Salesman was competent and friendly. Off to the local Audi garage where we parked lovely not very old car outside and sat in, looked at and tried to find brochures for a new Audi. 4 salesmen sat around doing absoloutely nothing for the duration of our visit and not one said hello or tried to assist us.

I'd worn my special car viewing outfit too!

DH decided to go alone to another Audi dealer yesterday, 15 miles away, where for a second time he was totally ignored by all the showrom staff. We have decided not to buy an Audi as they seem to be telling us we are not Audi people. AIBU to have expected some attention?

Yabu, if you are not Audi people.

I bet they judge you by your handbag.

XBenedict Wed 08-May-13 11:59:57

This happened to my dad as well! Totally ignored in the Audi garage, made to feel very welcome in the Ford garage unfortunately he didn't like the Ford car.

schobe Wed 08-May-13 12:00:03


But lol at special car viewing outfit. Was it Ferrari racing driver overalls? Were they simply giving you a wide berth?

adeucalione Wed 08-May-13 12:01:20

We have had this as well - maybe their staff training says 'ignore punters, don't look desperate to sell a car'.

XBenedict Wed 08-May-13 12:02:10

You need to do a Julia Roberts, "big mistake, huge mistake" and walk out

higgle Wed 08-May-13 12:02:28

Well, I took off my dog walking fleece and put on my Ash trainers and Brora jumper. Maybe it was me that put them off.....

superbagpuss Wed 08-May-13 12:03:35

buy a honda
excellent staff and follow up with services
cars are well made and very reliable and really spacious

you know you want to grin.

ENormaSnob Wed 08-May-13 12:03:46

What did your car viewing outfit consist of?

Was your hair done?

Maybe repost in style and beauty for advice on getting Audi car salesmen to notice you.

Midlifecrisisarefun Wed 08-May-13 12:04:23

We were ignored in a Nissan garage, when I spoke to one the salesman, he looked me up and down, ignored my 'wishlist' of needs and pointed to a micra - far too small!
We went 25 miles to another and had bought within the hour!
I never use the first one even though it is 2 miles from my home!

Oldraver Wed 08-May-13 12:16:54

Yes I have had this in several car dealers. In Peugeot three salesmen were salivating over a young pretty thing, talking her painstakingly through her options (ie new car= more expensive but sparkly new, 2nd hand= someone else took the initial finanacial hit, but not so sparkly new) I virtually had to beg for some brochures which I late threw in a hissy fit over the car on the revolving podium.

I was just as irritated by how condescending they were to the girl as their ignoring of me. They were not the only ones to behave badley, they dont seem to actually be bothered that they may of lost a sale

higgle Wed 08-May-13 12:26:21

superbagpuss, yes, we already have a Honda, and will probably get another, all a bit boring as I also have the same car this time round as last time. DH thinks being an engineer is something to do with it, and that Hondas are engineers cars.

ENormaSnob Wed 08-May-13 12:29:16

envy at the Hondas.

I want an frv but can't afford it until next year sad

Xiaoxiong Wed 08-May-13 12:40:15

The last car we bought, the sales person was a woman. Best service we've ever had (cars or otherwise) and she knew her stuff through and through. This was at an independent second hand garage specialising in Volvos and Saabs.

I used to work at a car manufacturer and negotiated with the dealers. Without exception they were unreconstructed sexist dinosaurs so I can only presume the attitude comes from the top at most dealerships. Mind you, the manufacturer wasn't much better!

MyChemicalMummy Wed 08-May-13 12:40:46

At our audi dealership you go and speak to the receptionist and she will send a available sales person over to talk to you. Was there a reception desk there?

GreenLeafTea Wed 08-May-13 12:40:52

I love my Honda. It's never given me a moment's trouble.

HelgatheHairy Wed 08-May-13 12:48:01

We went looking for a new car/SUV a few weeks ago. Nissan man was brilliant, Mazda man was terrible and Kia woman was good.

We went to look at the mazda again and part of the reason we didnt buy was the salesman was so terrible. Just completely uninterested, wasn't certain of the specs, absolutely refused to budge on price.

Whereas we went to look at the Nissan again last night and the salesman was so good we actually bought a Qashqai+2 as he gave us such a good deal on it.

MrsMangelFanciedPaulRobinson Wed 08-May-13 13:13:01

I think some of the salespeople in the garages for high end cars seem to think the cars sell themselves, and they behave with an arrogance that suggests they think customers are a nuisance.

yearningformyyoni Wed 08-May-13 13:23:20

Its exactly the same in my local Range Rover dealer!

MrsMangelFanciedPaulRobinson Wed 08-May-13 13:25:44

car sales people are on commission, and bloody good commission at that. They must be bonkers to treat people like shit and lose sales, especially in the current economic climate where car buyers aren't really plentiful like they used to be

gindrinker Wed 08-May-13 14:06:37

Its not just car salesmen (although Renault were lovely when I did shop alone, Hyundai talked to Mr Gin and not me when it was my cash which was going to be spent)

The number of times you go in to a shop (a camera shop, dixions etc) looking to spend £100+ and you get ignored. Or even clothes shops.
I just give up and go else where.

MrsMangelFanciedPaulRobinson Wed 08-May-13 14:11:07

That's very true gindrinker!

I think lots of shops just don't want customers, or at least appear to not want them. We are just an inconvenience.

cassgate Wed 08-May-13 14:23:53

DH has just bought an audi A6 and couldnt fault the salesperson. In comparison he went to a kia garage a couple of weeks ago as he was interested in the SUV not sure whats its called. They didnt have one in the showroom and arranged to have one for the following weekend for him to test drive. Appointment was arranged to go back the following saturday for said test drive. When DH got there the car had not turned up. They hadnt bothered to call to rearrange and couldnt say when or if the car would turn up. They were totally disinterested. DH walked out and went to local audi garage where he bought a 6 month old immaculate audi a6 for the same price as the KIA.

lisaro Wed 08-May-13 14:58:47

I know exactly what you mean, OP. Spoke to some absolute arse at Audi Bradford, who didnt seem to want to actually sell a car. And they now only have white (drug dealer) ones in for you to look at. Have since bought three new ones between us from Huddersfield Audi.

Indith Wed 08-May-13 15:03:03

We've been car shopping recently. Some shocking service. Places that ignore you even though you've asked to speak to someone only to suddenly realise they DO have someone available after all when they see you getting back into your car to drive away. Places that sell the car you were looking at and have booked to test drive but don't bother to tell you until you turn up for your test drive the next day. That can't be arsed to see what stock they have/other places in their group have but tell you it is all online except when you point out to them a couple of cars that the website says they have in stock they don't seem to actually exist. BLoody waste of time car shopping is.

Stupid thing is we needed 2 cars. Who the hell would think that providing piss poor service to someone buying 2 cars is a good idea?

ComposHat Wed 08-May-13 15:04:38

Maybe Audi could use it as a sales pitch

'Audi - sold by cunts, driven by cunts'

PleaseDontEatMyShoe Wed 08-May-13 15:15:13

I got ignored in the Suzuki garage blush when I was looking for a car last year. When they eventually noticed me, a salesman listened to my requirements (big boot for folded buggy, shopping etc) and then said 'You need a Suzuki Swift, love' and turned back to his computer. I went and looked at one (why??? why didn't I just walk out?) and the boot was about the same size as my handbag, so I left. Arses. Lost an actual genuine sale-I went next door instead, and bought a car off them grin

janji Wed 08-May-13 15:26:45

Dh and I went to a ford garage many years ago to purchase two top of the range Ghia X mondeos (am aware this ages me). We were in our early twenties and dressed fairly casually as it was a Sunday afternoon. Cue a condescending old bat who couldn't have been less interested and to add insult to injury, looked at us pityingly and in very slow speech said " you do realise these are very expensive cars?"
To which dh swiftly quoted the spec, price, in and outs etc before triumphantly telling her she'd just missed out on selling £50,000 worth of cars!
Her face was priceless!

RuckAndRoll Wed 08-May-13 15:27:29

Although it's really annoying, if you want the car it's worth sticking it out as you never have to deal with that person again.

We had a trainee salesman when we went to the Kia garage, he was great, answered all our questions, wasn't pushy etc. When we went for a test drive another person took us out who sat in the back ignored us, lit up a cigarette (and sulked when we asked him to stop as we were hoping to buy that specific car), then slept for the rest of the test drive.

When we went in to pay, we asked to speak to the manager and specifically said the first guy was to get the commission as the other guy was totally useless and almost lost them the sale. Guy #2 was not impressed at that!

foslady Wed 08-May-13 17:09:03

Thank God it's not just me this happens to. Spent £5k on a new to me car last year which for me is a LOT. Found a particular v low milage car in a car supermarket + dealership type place an hours treak away. Not only was the head salesman an arse at the initial meeting, but also when I rang to check all was in order to pick up on the day as I'd had to ask for lift to get there (told yes but they had prepared a damn thing angry) and on pick up. (Still wonder if this was because I am a single female who didn't bring the obligatory male in tow....)
Got my kama moment though when the Head Office rang up to ask me about my experience..........

Pendeen Wed 08-May-13 18:41:15

I had my dad's old Alfa Romeo for several years before eventually being in the position of being able to buy (well lease actually) a new car. Several friends and their Dhs have - and love - Audis so I went along to the 'local' dealer (you know who you are)! About 40 minutes drive.

Showroom was almost empty and to be fair a salesman came over fairly quickly but everything went downhill from the moment he opened his condescending mouth. Assumed I was just a dippy little female who knew nothing about cars and when I started asking some searching questions revealed his ignorance and blustered.

Finally topped of the 'experience' by chatting me up and got very scratchy when I wouldn't give him my phone number!

I should have known better...

Went to the Alfa Romeo dealer who was very helpful and treated me as an equal. I ended up buying my lovely 159! smile

Quick hijack, but how is your 159 Pendeen? I am looking to replace my car and have been drooling over Alfas for a loooong time!

MrsFogi Wed 08-May-13 18:51:21

We had the same experience in two Audi dealerships - DH had decided we were going to buy an Audi but as we were made to feel like lepers in both dealerships we bought a Merc instead. We're now about to change that car and guess what? We won't even be visiting Audi.

MrsMangelFanciedPaulRobinson Wed 08-May-13 18:59:49

The Audi garage in my home town used to be owned by a local 'business family' that thought they were the bees knees and that the world should bow and scrape to them. Perhaps Audi only allow people with that attitude to sell their cars?

DupontetDupond Wed 08-May-13 19:37:14

If you're buying new, and if you know what you want, go to an online broker who will source one for you. The car still comes from an Audi dealer, and you pay the dealer directly, it's just that you can get a guaranteed discount, often 10% or more off the list price. Saves haggling and hassle, and you can sit in your dressing gown while you do it.

If buying second hand, loads of research online is key so that you can work out a good price for the car you're looking to buy. I then do all the work on the phone playing one dealer off another to agree a price over the phone and secure the car with a (refundable) few hundred on a credit card. I find the phone much easier, salespeople have to work harder as they know you can hang up any time - and you save yourself endless (often fruitless) trips to dealerships.

My last car came from a dealership 150 miles from home!!

TheCunnyFunt Wed 08-May-13 19:57:47

The same kind of thing happened to my PILs on Monday, they were in the Tefal shop trying to buy an iron, the shop assistant was "assisting" them, told MIL she should try and fix her old iron before buying a new one and then just walked off!

IME you either get excellent salesmen, or really shit ones.

ginmakesitallok Wed 08-May-13 20:02:32

Reminds me of when my old boss went to look for a new BMW, wearing her old jeans and looking a bit of a mess. Salesman was really off with her. Apparently she just pointed at a convertible, said I'll have one of those in red, but I'll have it from him, and pointed at another salesman. She was a bit of a bitch though

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sirzy Wed 08-May-13 20:21:56

Did you ask them to help?

I much prefer it when places leave you to look and wait for you to approach them. Salesmen pouncing as soon as you walk in is a surefire way to put me off

PigletJohn Wed 08-May-13 20:24:01

by chance, I went to a car dealer today.

Walked in, said to the person nearest the door "I'm looking for a **"

person said "you've come to the right place! just a moment please" and took me to a salesman

I sat down and said to him "I'm looking for a (model, year range), must be non-smoker's car, must be petrol not diesel, I strongly prefer (engine), have a mild preference for (variant), I don't like bright colours, I like dark or silver. I want to get one by the end of the month, preferably within two weeks"

He went through his branch stock, and group stock, and had no opportunity to ignore me or to mould me to what he wanted to sell (he had a go at selling me what he had on the forecourt and coming in tomorrow, but I said, no, that one isn't a (engine) and the other isn't a (model) or (my year range). I also mentioned I'd be trying (two nearby towns which also have main dealers for this car) if I couldn't find the right one locally.

It's all true.

I like to think he has to treat me as a no-nonsense buyer. I also like to think he knows that if he can provide what I'm looking for (but not otherwise) he can make a quick deal. Perhaps they get a lot of windowlickers.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YellowTulips Wed 08-May-13 20:26:04

Depends on the salesperson and the ethos of the dealership more than the manufacturer.

Had some really crappy service from "high end" car dealers but also from those service the less expensive market.

DH and I just bought 2 new cars (long story why both needed replacing) - I got great service from one branch (Newcastle) and shitty snotty "it's a privilege to buy our cars service" from Leeds - hence a trip North.

DH is still getting so so (at best) service from his chosen dealer locally (different car to mine) and I would have gone elsewhere - but that's his call.

After years of dealers answering MY questions about MY car to my DH I just don't take any crap from car salespeople.

gallifrey Wed 08-May-13 20:27:26

we were welcomed like long lost family at the Audi garage but totally ignored at the VW garage! So we got an A4 grin

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PigletJohn Wed 08-May-13 20:29:45

sorry I might need mine sad

Fleecyslippers Wed 08-May-13 20:32:28

I had this at the Ford Dealership. Totally disinterested salesman, sneered slightly when I asked about fuel consumption, gap insurance etc. I suspect it was because I was a member of the fairer sex hmm

So I went next door and bought a brand new VW grin

A friend of mine is a car salesman and I can vouch for the fact that the ones he works with are a big bunch of sleazy coke heads who are always competing to pull! Yuk!

Trigglesx Wed 08-May-13 20:37:42

I had this happen to me at a Toyota dealership in the states. When I went to a nearby Ford dealership and bought my brand new Ford, I sent a letter to the management of the Toyota dealership telling them thanks for having inattentive sales staff, as I love my brand new Ford. grin

amigababy Wed 08-May-13 20:43:40

when we reserved a particular VW we wanted to test drive, we turned up on time, waited absolutely ages and were eventually told the boss 's wife had borrowed it to go somewhere that weekend and would we like to test a completely different model instead?

we also specified the things we were looking for, and for each thing the salesman told us why we were wrong and why we should look at what he said instead!

YellowTulips Wed 08-May-13 20:47:35

It is sexist no doubt - 2 experiences:

1. Picking up new car a few years ago. "Your DH is a lucky man having that to drive. Bet he's gutted he couldn't pick up himself!" - needless to say it was my car...

2. Getting MOT for said car above. Arranged to wait whilst it was being done (supposedly 1-1.5hrs). Dealership not busy. About an hour in noticed Service Guy wandering around muttering "were is he? Thought he was waiting". 30 mins later same guy come back to the waiting area and speaks to a colleague "must have buggered off. I could have taken my break early. Thought this was a wait job. Can you tell Mr Yellow when he bothers to show up I have gone for lunch and he can wait for me?". Yep, my car again. I piped up "I hope you checked the car better than you did the paperwork - you might have noticed that MRS Yellow who owns the car has been said here for you all the time".

Callmecordelia Wed 08-May-13 22:05:18

DH used to be in the motor trade, and was top salesman in the country for his brand one year (a luxury one).

He did it by never, ever ignoring anyone. He didn't judge by appearances, he took every phone call that his colleagues ignored because they were too 'busy', and qualified every sale so that people got what they wanted. Oh, and he is a maths genius, and could work out exactly how much discount he could offer and still make a profit on a deal in milliseconds.

Life was pretty good for those years - the rewards were great, and the commission schemes generous. I understand that it isn't quite like that now, and he got out a while back. Now earns half what he did in that super year.

And you know what? One of the things I really don't miss is people thinking everyone in the motor trade are dicks. They aren't - just most of them are grin.

Shesparkles Wed 08-May-13 22:14:35

I've dealt with 3 Audi dealerships, 1 the salesman was an utter tosspot, the other 2 I had no issues with. Of the 2which were ok, both times the car was for me, and the,salesman had no issue in speaking and listening to me.
The VW dealership I've been dealin with on my day's behalf recently however has been a whole different story.
Customer service abominable, understanding the needs of the customer non existent (since when did a Touran remotely resemble a Golf?? Would love to know ow much of an incentive you're,on for the Touran). The tosser only just stopped short of calling me dear and patting my hand!

Can we please have less of the calling Audi drivers cunts?? I'm an Audi driver but I'm certainly not a cunt. smile

yesididthat Wed 08-May-13 22:30:22

Same sort of thing happened to me once, but it was a zafira we looked at. DH and I went to the garage and looked at it thought it was very nice and we wanted to buy it.

Man at the garage said that they took credit cards. We had to go home to consider the purchase as it was alot of money.

DH and I did take zafira for a test drive. We liked it. We didn't actually say this to the salesman but said we would be in touch.

So I arrived day later with baby (and seat) and credit card to pay but without DH.

Salesman could not even be bothered to let me drive it. It would have been my car and my credit card that paid for it but he was totally indifferent when I tried to ask about the car.

Yep he lost the sale!

PigletJohn Wed 08-May-13 22:57:04

I hope you wrote a letter of complaint to the Franchise Manager explaining why s/he lost the sale.

If the boss knows he is losing money due to the idiots he employs, s/he should haul them over the coals.

A letter always has more effect than a phone call or an email, and is more likely to get a reply. Some businesses still keep a "complaints book."

FreshLeticia Wed 08-May-13 23:12:23

I'm an Audi driver too, but I got mine as an ex-fleet vehicle online. I have just today changed cars. Two weeks ago my DS21 and I went to look at 4x4s as I need one for work. We stopped at our local Audi Garage (not that any dealers are local to me as we live in the middle of nowhere). The salesman made us feel as if we weren't moneyed enough to buy an audi. He was suited, in his early 60s and kept trying to give me sweets. I am over 50 confused. It felt very wrong and anyway, the Audi Q5 I fancied had a ridiculous lip on the boot.
We then went to the landrover garage and the salesman was lovely. Gave impartial advice on several makes of 4x4 and what type I needed. Not once did he question why a woman wanted a utility vehicle. He delivered my new Freelander this evening, after having lent me his own car because I had uninsured my Audi and the Landy wasn't quite ready in time. I am 40 miles away.

PigletJohn Wed 08-May-13 23:20:11

I think the URL for this thread ought to be sent to a few car dealers.

PigletJohn Wed 08-May-13 23:28:21

We have bought two cars from Warwick Wright in Chiswick, Peugeot, that is.
We received excellent and friendly service on both occasions. The first car was brand spanking new, the 206, and I bet we were among the first in London to drive it, as it actually turned heads!

I remember picking up a dvd featuring the car from the showroom first, this was before you had videos online, to persuade to go and try it. We both loved it.

This was after a terrible experience at a Ford dealership in South London, where we nearly bought a brand new Ford Focus. The car salesman actually said he would not sell us the car because "the wife is not good enough behind the wheel, it would be irresponsible of him" hmm WTF? I had been driving since I was 18, so for 7 years!!! Who in their right minds are turning away customers ready to buy a brand new car cash?
I will never. NEVER buy Ford. I felt so insulted.

idococktailshedoesbeer Thu 09-May-13 11:41:12

If you really fancy an Audi I'd drop an email to their customer services dept at head office, I'm sure they'd be horrified to know how rude their franchises are.

I had bad service after I'd bought my Mini, months later I was sent a questionnaire asking for feedback. I sent it off and received a phone call from the branch shortly afterwards. Lots of apologies with a very indignant undertone. hmm They said my negative ratings would have a big impact on their annual customer service standings nationally and their managers had gone mad about it. They were trying to make me feel bad but I was very fair in my feedback - the service was unacceptable and they didn't dispute anything I said happened.

Poledra Thu 09-May-13 11:55:30

The worst experience I've had with car dealers was in VW - went with DH and then-baby DD2. Salesman kept talking to DH. DH said 'I don't drive, my wife is the driver, she decides what car we're having.' Salesman still talking to DH. DH picks up DD2's carseat and wanders off - salesman finally talks to me. Then, as DH sees that I'm winding down, he comes back over - salesman immediately switches his attention to DH again! I didn't buy the car, but got a phonecall a few days later from the garage 'Hello MrsPol, <salesman> has been asked to leave the company, we're just following up with all his customers to see if we can help them, as we think you might not have seen the best our cars have to offer.' No shit.

Mind you, they were too late, as I'd already bought another car in the meantime. My own prejudices were punctured too though - we went to BMW, salesman was a gelled-hair, sharp-suit type. I assumed he'd talk to DH - Wrong! Once he knew the car was for me, he ignored DH and focused on finding out what I wanted. Definitely a man who knew where his commission was coming from grin

wonkylegs Thu 09-May-13 11:57:37

Audi are well known to have some dealerships where the service is woeful.
Our experience when buying our audi was so dire I wrote to head office to complain.
There reaction was also underwhelming.
We were considering Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar, Alfa Romeo and Porsche. Audi was the only one with an attitude problem.
I love the car it's fab but the dealership would stop me buying one ever again from them (indifference at 3 local dealerships, extreme rudeness, failed to look after my personal details, lying, unexplained lateness of delivery, mistakes at delivery and a failure to apologise for any of this)
In the end after head office interceded I did get a bouquet of flowers as an woefully lacking apology on fucking up the purchase of near £40k's worth of car!angry
I would have walked away but I'd driven the car and it was my favourite by a mile.
Thankfully we are in the process of moving and will be closer to the dealership where my FIL buys his Audis who seem to be more competent and pleasant to deal with, so we may get another one.

PatPig Thu 09-May-13 12:35:29

Audi drivers are cunts, so they probably thought you didn't like like a cunt, hence ignoring you.

I have been driving an Audi (the same one!) for 11 years. I am an atrocious cunt but not when driving.

ComposHat Thu 09-May-13 12:40:45

My own prejudices were punctured too though - we went to BMW, salesman was a gelled-hair, sharp-suit type. I assumed he'd talk to DH - Wrong! Once he knew the car was for me, he ignored DH and focused on finding out what I wanted.

I thought that would be the first question a salesperson would want to ask 'who will be driving the car? - JUst one of you or both of you' so that they could pitch to that person.*

Seems short sighted as well as sexist.

*I don't know as all my cars have come from the 'cheap n' cheerful' section in the local paper, so I've never had to deal with salespeople.

Kendodd Thu 09-May-13 12:46:02

I remember about ten years ago wanting to buy a new car, small economy model, but brand new. I can't remember which dealer it was, I just remember one, who wouldn't tell me the price. We talked about a car I was looking at, I had been round other dealers and had a few cars in the running, he just kept on saying "when you've decided this is the car you want, well, we'll sit down, go though the options and make a deal on the price" I pointed out that the price was a major factor in my decision making, but he still wouldn't tell me how much the car was. At least he didn't ignore me I suppose.

Oh and I didn't buy the car, I didn't know how much it was!

HelgatheHairy Thu 09-May-13 13:31:24

DH and I went to pick up our new car last night and the salesman was STILL brilliant (Nissan). Even so far as taking us into the service/parts section and introducing us to the service manager! And mentioning if we were ever around doing our shopping (dealership is in a shopping centre) drop the car in and they would give it a wash and Hoover!

(He also spend lots of time going through all buttons and switches and things but it was the little details that really impressed us)

Could not have been more impressed!

Pendeen Thu 09-May-13 15:45:43


It's very nice indeed, looks gorgeous in red, drives like a dream (great fun on the open roads here) and has so far been very reliable smile

Shesparkles Thu 09-May-13 16:01:08

Patpig please tell me what you drive so I can make the same sweeping generalisation smile

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